Monday, 25 February 2013

Act now to stop environmental destruction, while it's too soon

Here's another post on an alarmist claim about sea-level rise. I know, I know, but it's my bag an' you just gotta put up with it. Look at it from my point of view and sympathise. Now where was I? Oh yes - Mike Heral of the Daily Aztec (I wouldn't want to meet him in a dark alley, all that tearing out beating hearts and such) bemoans that America's seeming indifference to sea-level change is "pretending the monster isn't there". He obviously hasn't been reading what I see daily, reporters, bloggers, greenies and "sea-level coordinators" verbally spreading their arms like anglers "It'll be that high or maybe three times as much". Reporters need to get out more, or rather stay in and read more. Enough beating about the heart bush, read what he has to say in Act now to stop environmntal [sic] destruction.
America’s reaction to the rising sea level is even more disappointing than the San Diego State’s men’s basketball season. Or I should say, our non-reaction to rising sea levels. When we were young and scared of monsters under our beds, we’d close our eyes and pretend the monster wasn’t there. Our wishing made the monster go away. Pretending climate change and a rising sea level isn’t happening will not make it go away. Irrational denials have lasted too long. The time to prepare for rising sea levels is now. Too bad San Diego isn’t listening.
San Diego, in particular the ordinary citizens and those who actually know what's happening down on the beaches, isn't listening because there's currently nothing to listen to. There's no "rising sea level" on those sun-kissed beaches (I can wax quite lyrical at times), and there hasn't been for three decades. The long-term rate of rise has been dropping, and is now less than it was in 1983. Below I provide a couple of "irrational denials" to illustrate what I mean. They should make Mike's monsters go away, but Mike wouldn't listen anyway. he's quite at home with his monsters, but wouldn't admit it. Alarmists often (not to say usually) project their faults onto sceptics. One such projection is to claim that sceptics are "hiding their heads in the sand". Mike could have been hiding his head in the sand at San Diego since the early '80s, and wouldn't have got his hair wet, with the exception if the upward spikes caused by the '83/84 and '97/'98 El Niños.

San Diego, California - annual averages 1906-2011                 Data source: PSMSL
This is what Mike could see if he took his head outa the sand.

San Diego, California - 1980-2011                                  Data source: PSMSL
The trend evolution plots the trend from 1906 to the year on the bottom axis.

San Diego, California - trend evolution 1970-2011             Data source: PSMSL
There's your "monster", Mike - because the sea-level isn't rising, the long-term trend is still dropping, and there's no sign of it stopping (yet). There's no sign of ostrich-like alarmism stopping yet either. Mike finishes by saying
Protection costs. Imagine how much less the cost would’ve been if San Diego began preparing for sea level rise in the ‘90s. Imagine how much more it will cost if the city waits another decade to begin. The more cities wait to fortify threatened communities the more the taxpayer will pay.
Imagine how the taxpayers might have complained about having forked out for something unnecessary back then. There'll be plenty of time to act if and when the situation changes. Mike, you need a simple lesson in economics. Building back then wasn't cheaper, it just cost fewer dollars. It's called inflation, and building now or in the near future will be cheaper because of more efficient techniques and better materials and design.

UPDATE 1st March 2013

I left a comment on the Daily Aztec page, not using my blog handle, nor linking to this blog, politely pointing out a few facts about sea-level at San Diego, and linking to NOAA & PSMSL pages showing no net change in three decades. My comment remained "awaiting moderation" for 3 days. It has now disappeared. Inconvenient facts simply don't make a good story.

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